BENGALURU (Reuters) – Indian drugmaker Cipla Ltd will price its generic version of Gilead Sciences Inc’s antiviral drug remdesivir for use in COVID-19 patients at less than 5,000 rupees ($66), the company said.
Cipla and privately held Indian drugmaker Hetero Labs on Sunday gained approval to sell generic versions of remdesivir in the country. Hetero expects to price a similar 100 milligram dose of the treatment at 5,000 to 6,000 rupees.
Beximco Pharmaceuticals Ltd, one of Bangladesh’s largest drugmakers, in May became the first company in the world to introduce a generic variant of remdesivir.
Reuters exclusively reported that the company was planning to price its version at between 5,000 to 6,000 takas ($59 to $71) per vial.
Remdesivir, intravenously administered in hospitals, is the first treatment to show improvement in COVID-19 trials. It has been approved for emergency use in severely-ill patients in the United States, India and South Korea, and has received full approval in Japan.
Cipla, in an e-mailed statement, did not provide details on when the treatment, called Cipremi, will be available.
Remdesivir has yet to be priced in the United States.
Gilead said on Monday it is targeting remdesivir supply for more than 2 million COVID-19 patients by the end of the year.
The expectations suggest sales of between $2 billion and $3 billion between 2020 and 2021 at a price of $1,000 to $2,000 per course, according to Jefferies analyst Michael Yee.
Cases of the novel coronavirus in India stood at 440,215 on Tuesday, health ministry data showed https://www.mohfw.gov.in, while the death toll stood at 14,011. The country is on track to overtake Russia as the third most affected country by cases.
($1 = 75.6170 Indian rupees)
(Reporting by Anuron Kumar Mitra in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)